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: Some Vacation...Arrrgghhhh !!!  ( 801 )
Mojo
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« : August 05, 2014, 06:00:58 PM »

Well we made it back home and while we enjoyed every minute of our time with my son, daughter in law and grandkids, the rest of the vacation sucked.

I had a quad order booked before we even crossed the border into GA. The phone never stopped ringing the whole time we were gone and the e-mails kept coming in. I spent time on rest stops calling customers, taking orders and helping customers work through technical issues on their slide toppers or awnings.

Then I had a front U-Joint go bad on the bus after pulling a couple big mountain grades. We ended up stranded on a Sunday at a weigh station on I-75 in Kentucky. None of the big truck service centers wanted a thing to do with us after I told them we needed work done on a motorcoach. They avoid coaches like the plague because they are such a PITA to work on and also because of the liability of an expensive rig. Mostly they stick to working on semi's only. Finally found a service center who took us in and I limped the coach in and in a few hours was on our way.

Spent the night in Ohio at the Neil Armstrong Space Museum, got up in the morning and headed on to Michigan. Pulled into the first rest area and a trucker followed us in, parked and came up to our door and knocked. " Ummmm sir, you have smoke coming from your toad ( our car which we tow behind the coach ). Great....................... Went back and took a look at the right rear hub cap and seen it was melted. I could smell burning gear oil and then seen the back of the car covered in gear oil and brake fluid. To make a long story short, the axle bearings went in the right rear, which drained the gear oil, which burnt up the diff and which got so hot it melted the brake lines on the right wheel which drained the brake fluid. Why it didn't catch on fire is beyond me.

Called an old high school buddy of mine in Lansing, MI who owned a transport/car dealership and he came and got it. I told him " make me a decent offer and you can keep the car ". He did so we came home minus one car. Once I get my bearings I will have to go car shopping. It was my tow vehcile for several years ( 2001 Grand Vitara ) with alot of miles on it.

Oh those orders that came in while on the road ? I am pretty much buried for the month. I spent half of yesterday figuring out materials and placing one big and very expensive order with Miami. The other half of the day I chased my fat butt in circles trying to figure out where I left off before vacation and looking for a starting point.

Today I spent kicking myself in the ass trying to get motivated and get working. Vacations can be real tough in that regard.

I have days I hate this business and this is one of them. Can you tell me how you handle your vacations ? Do you have an auto responder on your e-mails saying your on vacation ? Do you leave a voice mail saying your closed for vacation for the week, two weeks or whatever ? Do you just lock the door and say screw it and forget about the business ? I need help and input here gang. How do the rest of you do it ?

I really need to come up with something before our next vacation because I am sick and tired of taking this business on the road with me while we travel to a vacation spot. I need my down time and to get away from this business. How do you all handle it ? I do not want to send $ 3 or 4 K worth of business down the road to my competitors but something has to be done.

Oh, BTW, great to be back. I missed ya'll. :)

Chris
Mike
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« #1 : August 05, 2014, 07:27:24 PM »

id propab;y tale messages and awnser them on the road too, good you did your busy now  its slow as hell here  so far (knock wood ) the slowest summer yet im just doing one small job at a time I have one small ive only got one small one left so far (knock wood) the phone ring with one just in time . but ive been slow.  
'
last time I took a vacation I took my winni and bike in tow here to florida from new Hampshire.  I me and and my  brother john  took a cruise on mthe bike and were sitting on a café on Bradenton beach when my phone rang ( I had my calls from the shop forwarded to my  cell at the time , it was January and was a customer from conneticut camm new hamsshire a regular in the summer a bait customer asking the ice conditions. of the lake at the shop . I said " well its melting pretty quick in my glass"  that when I told him I was on the beach getting tanned.  . lol   I did get a few calls that schedualed canvas work come april so that was good to look forward to returning .
« : August 05, 2014, 07:31:30 PM Mike »

MinUph
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« #2 : August 05, 2014, 07:38:28 PM »

Hey Chris welcome home LOL.

  When I take a Vacation I do the autoresponder thing and only answer my phone for certain people. I try to make sure the important contacts will know I am going away before hand but customers will get a recording stating when I will return and to leave anything important on the machine.
  I use to take the calls, fill the online orders etc. but it isn't a Vacation then now is it.
  Glad there were no people issues on the trip you had enough bad luck on this one. Everyone is safe thats a good thing.

Paul
Minichillo's Upholstery
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mike802
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« #3 : August 08, 2014, 10:54:49 AM »

Chris:  I think it all depends on how much you need the business.  I spent years having to have the business so we could eat.  It was real difficult to get away then, now a days, I dont need the income to survive, so my prospective it a little different, but those early years built up a psychology that was very difficult to let go of.  I finally started just saying screw it! I put a sign on the door saying closed for vacation and recorded a message for the phone saying when I would be closed.  This summer I even put a sign on my door with

SUMMER HOURS
9 to 5 by chance, or by appointment.

Sorry to hear about the trouble with the RV and the toad.  I am not looking forward to that and I know it's coming.  A 30 year old buss that has been sitting now for 4 years is bound to have some "bugs" that need working out.  Hopefully the major components will hold together, I hear the price of rebuilding an 8v71 two stroke is around 4 grand a hole!
« : August 08, 2014, 11:00:43 AM mike802 »

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power" - Abraham Lincoln
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« #4 : August 12, 2014, 11:34:04 PM »

We just got back from three weeks in the fifth wheel. I did answer a couple of emails admittedly but nothing else. I just got tired of never getting a chance to put the brain in neutral so not answering calls and emails was the cost of relaxing. I know not everyone can let the business go for a few weeks but its the only way for me to shut the grey matter down, there was a few po'd customers but like I told them I want their cell phone numbers so I can call them when they go away.
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